Sony Electronics has announced that it's shipping the CRX10U/A2, a new CD-RW drive that operates on batteries and can also function as a standalone CD player.
Fully loaded, the Digital Relay CD-RW weighs less than a pound, and only takes up about 5.25-inches by 1-inch by 7.5-inches on the desktop. The unit is designed to be as portable as a CD Walkman, but offers data backup, MP3 burning and decoding capabilities.
The new drive sports a USB connection that's compatible with both Mac OS and Windows-based computers, and sports 2x CD-R burning, 4x CD-RW burning, and 6x CD-ROM read speed. Detached from a computer, the Digital Relay drive can read both regular audio CDs, CD-Rs or CD-RWs burnt with MP3 files, allowing up to 11 hours of music to be stored on a single disk. The drive sports MP3 decoding at either 128Kb/sec or 320Kb/sec.
The Digital Relay CD-RW comes bundled with a USB connection cable, AC adapter, rechargeable InfoLithium battery, compact earphones with wired remote control and LCD display; and a suite of software. Sony says the included InfoLithium battery is good for about two hours of playback time.
Bundled software with the Digital Relay CD-RW includes Mac titles like CharisMac Discribe, a CD mastering application; and Retrospect Express, a backup application. System requirements include PowerPC G3-based Mac or higher with USB port, Mac OS 8.6 or higher (Mac OS X does not yet support CD burning).
Sony says the new Digital Relay CD-RW is available via retail outlets and online resellers nationwide for an estimated retail price of US$399.